Thursday, August 23, 2018

Changing Seasons

Seasons

Quito is sometimes called the land of eternal spring, where the only seasons are wet and dry. We like the weather a lot, but sometimes it's good to pass from one season to the next. As we look back on our summer, our hearts are full of memories and thanks to God for what he has done.

Changes for Luke

Luke graduated from high school and spent the month of July in Kansas with his Grandma and working for a friend who builds houses. He survived the hot weather and began to adjust to living in the states.

Summer Ministry

In July, the rest of us enjoyed having a team from First Baptist in Newton, Kansas in Quito for 10 days. They sent a team of 10 to work at a Christian orphanage in Quito. We enjoyed our time making some new friends and serving alongside of them.


Scott was able to take Pastor Chip to several small Quichua churches in Quito and they were able to encourage them in their walk with God as they continue reaching out to their communities around them.


Family News

The month of July was full of goodbyes and packing up our house as we got ready to head back to the states for a year of home assignment. We landed in Chicago and were able to catch up with David and Shelby for a few days. Pray for them as they are seeking God's direction in an opportunity to serve God overseas.

Lindsey started her 8th grade year at Berean. So far her adjustment has been smooth. She is playing Volleyball. Pray that she will be able to make some new friends quickly.


We recently moved Luke into his dorm at John Brown University. He loved the missionary kid and international student orientation the first 3 days and felt at home with this group of kids from around the world. He also has quite a group of latinos with whom he can keep up his Spanish. Please pray for Luke with all the college adjustments.

We also had Joel here for a week. He attended a missions conference in North Carolina prior to coming here. He is really excited to see how he might fit into overseas missions in the near future. For now he is back in Spokane and working. Please pray for him as seeks God's direction in his life.

Next Steps

Scott and I finally have some time to breathe this week and get caught up on some things. Our van was in an accident, so we need to decide if we will fix it or replace it. We still need to get cell phones. Pray for us as we begin filling in our calendar. We want to see as many of you who support us both with prayers and finances as we possibly can.


Fall

I think a recent conversation we had with Luke and Lindsey sums up how we are doing right now. As the days have been a little cooler and there is the hint of fall around the corner, we were talking about how the trees will all change color and the leaves will fall off. Luke and Lindsey don't remember experiencing this before and even Scott and I haven't seen it in 13 years. And the same for winter. So as you begin to see the trees changing colors, remember to pray for us and for all the "different" things we are experiencing, especially for Luke and Lindsey as they are experiencing life in the United States for the first time other than summer vacations.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Shifting Gears

Transitions

With shifting responsibilities comes the need for adaptation. We're especially thankful for the variety of gears we've been able to use in these days!

School's Out!

The month of June was a crazy month as we finished off the school year, full of lots of memories as we look back. Thanks for praying for the 6th grade play! It turned out well and we pray that God continues to bring the songs to mind and makes himself real to each of the kids.

I, Kristi, had the privilege of attending the baptism of one of my students and hearing him declare his faith in Jesus. It was a privilege watching him overcome some anxieties this year and how God used him to begin to reach out to his classmates.


Another highlight in the classroom during June was listening to one of my students teach a group of his friends about the book of Revelation. I'm so thankful for God's work in my students this year.

On June 30th Luke graduated from Alliance Academy International. We are so thankful for each of the teachers he has had through the years who poured into his life. Also we want to thank God for all he has done for Luke and his commitment to be a faithful servant of the Lord.


We sent Luke off this past week to stay with his Grandma Della in Newton so he can work a few weeks till he leaves for college. He'll be working outside, so pray that he can adjust to the hot summer temperatures quickly. Also pray for his adjustments to living in the states since this is something new for him.

Missions Team

Here in Ecuador, we are looking forward to the arrival of a team from First Baptist in Newton, Kansas. They are sending a team of 9 to work at a Christian orphanage here in Quito. Scott will also be taking them to several small Quichua churches in Quito. Pray that these churches can be encouraged in their walk with God and to continue reaching out to their communities around them.


Home Assignment

Also, continue to pray for us as we finish up our time in Quito this month and head back to the states for a year of home assignment. We plan on living in Newton, Kansas for the year. We want to see as many of you as possible who support us both with prayers and finances. We still have a lot to do before we travel, so please pray for strength as we finish up.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Pause for Prayer

Prayer

Sometimes it's hard to be disciplined about sending out these prayer updates. We need to remind ourselves it's worth pausing normal life long enough to inform you so you can pray more specifically for us. We know it's worth the effort. It occurs to me that it's probably much the same on your end. We are grateful that many of you are also in the habit of pausing long enough to bring our requests to the Lord. Here's an update to help you do it well.

Another Month of School

Today is a vacation day celebrating the Battle of Pichincha. I (Kristi) am thankful for a day at home before we go for the final stretch of 5 more weeks of school. It is rather hard when most of our US friends on Facebook are posting that they are already done with school. The next 2 weeks are going to be busy getting ready for our annual 6th grade musical. This year we will be presenting “I AM”. We live in a technological age, but the same God who Spoke to Moses from a burning bush still wants to communicate to us today. In our story, they are trying to create an App just for learning about God and seeking God in our real lives in order to be changed. This musical will be presented 4 times. Please pray for long practices, and that the hearts of the 6th graders really will be challenged to know God in their real lives as we sing these words over and over.

Changes for Luke

Luke is in his final weeks of his senior year. His class just returned home last night from their senior trip. They spent 5 days at the beach. He will be attending John Brown University in Arkansas this coming year. He has a lot of ideas of what he might like to do but hasn’t decided on a major yet. Luke arrived in Ecuador as a 2-year-old, so this really is home for him. Pray for him as there are many new adjustments ahead for him.

Home Assignment

As a family, we are looking ahead to spending the next year in the United States beginning in August. We have spent much of our extra time this past year sorting and getting rid of many things, as we will be putting all our belongings into storage for the year. We are looking forward to having more time to reconnect with each of you.

Discipleship

I (Scott) have recently had some great opportunities for mentoring and discipleship. A class I taught for a few weeks in Cajabamba on theology was for a pretty small group of students. Sometimes in cases like this I wonder if the effort is worth it; but through a series of events I was able to connect one of my students with a pastor here in Quito who is looking for more Bible training. Now Antonio and Juan have renewed a friendship that was dormant for years, and I think the Lord might use Antonio to meet some needs in Juan's life. Juan is also beginning a program of study online with Dallas Theological Seminary in Spanish. It's been a thrill to help him learn how to use a computer to access his class. This will be a big challenge for him (academics, discipline, computer skills, and finances); pray that he will be able to meet it. Pray that the Lord will use his studies for growth in his life and ministry.

Thank you for pausing long enough to read our update! Would you also be willing to lift us before the Lord in prayer?

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas: Celebration of Birth!

Christmas Eve

What better way to celebrate Christmas? This year at our church in Quito I had the incredible experience of baptizing two young ladies on Christmas Eve! Changed lives is the real “Reason for the Season.”



Jesus came to earth to defeat sin, death and evil, and he wants to give us peace with God.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

Jesus’ birth 2000 years ago made it possible for us to celebrate a new birth today for Xamara and Milena.



Our worship was made even richer by contributions by people from all over the globe. We had scripture readings in other languages and special music in Persian from some people who sacrificed much to follow Jesus and leave their home in Iran. It’s times like this when we’re especially thrilled to see how Jesus is building his church from every tribe, people, language and nation!

Pastors in Cajabamba

I few days ago I had the privilege of teaching a theology workshop to some pastors in Cajabamba. I’ll be returning once a month for a while. Pray for another good class on January 9.

White Christmas

We are taking advantage of the break in school to enjoy a vacation this week. We’re already dreaming of a white Christmas—white, that is, from the sea foam rolling off the breakers on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean! Next time maybe you can join us at Punta Arena; we recommend it!


Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Financial Need

We are very thankful for those of you who sent a financial donation to Avant Ministries last month. It was helpful to meet the financial need we are facing right now. Nevertheless, as of November 1 we still have a deficit of $2600 in our account. If others of you are able to make an extra gift it would be a tremendous help. You can make an online donation to Avant Ministries here, or print this donation form for mailing in with a check.

Joel’s Studies

Our son, Joel, is currently studying at Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, WA. Just a few days ago we were surprised to learn that Moody will be closing their Spokane campus at the end of this school year. Pray for Joel to have wisdom about the next major step in his life. Currently he is not planning to continue his studies for second semester.

Hope Begins

Are you looking for gift ideas for Christmas? Let me recommend an eye-opening and inspiring book that points to the biblical text. You can find more information about Hope Begins online at either of these two websites.
Of course, there are a ton of other books that would also make good gifts. What could be better for someone who likes to read than a stimulating study of God’s Word?

Greek

On Saturday I finished teaching a course on biblical Greek at Seminario UMEP. Even though we kept it very basic and introductory, it was quite challenging for my students. They will never be Greek scholars; but their eyes were opened to a whole new world of study. I believe their respect for God’s Word has deepened a little; pray that they will study it with a renewed vigor. I was especially encouraged by one student’s attitude. He was struggling the most to understand the concepts, but he cared enough to come to our house for extra tutoring. He says he plans to come again in the next few days even though the class is over.


Thanksgiving


We’re looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving at our house with several other Americans. One of the things we are most thankful for is YOU! Thank you for standing behind us in our ministry!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Road to Reconciliation

Reconciliation

I don’t particularly like meetings, but sometimes they’re important. Last week I had one that was exceptionally important. A local pastor called me to ask if I could help him restore a relationship with another pastor in Quito. As it turns out they haven’t been speaking together for about a year and a half. I invited both of them to come to a meeting in our house. Each of them invited a few others to come along, making it a total gathering of 9 people. The issues are complicated and so far we are only about halfway done, but at least we saw progress. Everyone handled the matter in a calm and Christ-like manner. After about 3 hours of discussion we felt ready to enjoy food together instead! Pray for these two men as they continue to work on mending their relationship.


Finances

We did a lot of traveling this summer to visit supporters, and now we’re paying the price. Our account with Avant Ministries is significantly in the red. If you are able to make an extra financial donation to Avant, it would help us tremendously at this time. You can make an online donation to Avant Ministries here, or print this donation form for mailing in with a check. Thank you for all the prayer and financial support you give!


Studies for Juan

One man I have been working with would really like to dig deeper in his education. We discovered that Dallas Theological Seminary is now offering a fully online seminary education in Spanish. Juan decided to apply and see what would happen. Both the finances and the academic expectations could be significant barriers for him. He finished the main application this week. Pray for the details to fall in to place if this is what God has for him.


Greek


Tomorrow I begin teaching another class of Biblical Greek. Pray for my students to be encouraged about doing the hard work so they can eventually see it pay off. Pray too for the ministry of Seminario UMEP.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Back to "Normal"

Normal

Am I the only one who wonders what normal really is? I’m not sure if I (Scott) ever have a normal day because every day brings its own challenges in a unique way. Nevertheless, the past few days have been a lot closer to normal than some.

Eclipse watching with the Edgrens

Home Ministry Assignment

We were in the US for July and August to connect with family and supporters. If we’ve learned anything about home ministry assignment it’s that our lives there are very abnormal. Busy? Yes, but busy with some very enjoyable activities. We got to see a lot of people that we love spending time with. The time was too short, and many of you can attest to the fact that we didn’t see everybody. Next time we’ll get to include others.


Helping Mom

You might remember that my mom struggles with serious mental illness. In the last four years she has done much better, but the last few months have been another low period for her. It was stressful to face her challenges this summer, but in some ways less stressful than being too distant to be able to help. We are thankful for good teamwork as a family and the help of professionals which enabled us to make some changes in her life structure. Please pray with us that her medication and the intervention of professionals can help bring her back to her normal state.

Studies for Juan

A friend of mine named Juan is a Quichua pastor in Quito. He would like to further his education, and I’m helping him explore possibilities for doing some online theological study. The option he is most attracted to would be a big stretch for him academically and financially, but it is an excellent program of study. Pray that Juan finds clear direction. Pray that if he isn’t accepted even that would be a learning opportunity.

Discipleship for Miguel 

Another brother in Christ whom I’ll call Miguel is from Venezuela. You probably know that life has been far from normal there in recent years. Miguel previously came to Ecuador for a few months to look for better opportunities. He is planning to return to Ecuador in a few weeks. Last time he was here we developed a close relationship for discipleship. Pray that if it’s God’s will he would be able to make his trip to Ecuador and that we would be able to share more time together in productive spiritual growth.


Hope Begins

One of the highlights of this summer was the privilege of carrying copies of my book, Hope Begins, to many of the places we visited. I was encouraged to see significant interest. Each chapter demonstrates in a unique way that Jesus Christ is God’s perfect solution for this world. Chapter 4 discusses his role as our perfect priest, which goes way beyond the duties of a normal priest.


If you’d like to purchase the book there are options online. The best value for paperback can be found at

The cheapest electronic format is the one for Kindle at

School

School is now in full swing. Kristi enjoys being back in the classroom. She is especially pleased at how quiet and respectful her students are this year. Luke is in his senior year and heavily involved in student leadership. Lindsey started junior high this year and is experiencing a new normal for her daily structure. I will be involved as president of the parents’ committee for the Senior class.

Greek

I will be teaching a Greek class again in October at Seminario UMEP. We will meet every Saturday beginning on September 30. I expect the biggest challenge will be convincing these students to do their work, but I have a couple of new ideas in the works. (My students might be a little surprised!) Above all else, pray that the class will inspire a greater passion for studying God’s Word. Pray that God would guide in the details of this and each of the other ministry opportunities that are a part of our normal life back in Ecuador.